2. Josh Downs having a strong rookie season
The Indianapolis Colts got a steal in the third round by taking UNC product Josh Downs. The rookie has caught 48 passes for 566 yards and two touchdowns, which is not elite wide receiver stuff, but in terms of a third-rounder, that is more than expectations would have you asking for.
He and Richardson developed chemistry early, but he did not miss a stride when Minshew had to become the signal caller. He was another player that had a strong performance against Baltimore; Downs had eight receptions off 12 targets for 57 yards in a great game. Seeing his ability to rack up catches shows he is not just a speed guy, but he is an all-around wide receiver.
Even though they lost against Cleveland in a heartbreaker, Downs had a 59-yard reception that solidified him as the future of the wide receiver position for this team. The past couple of games have not been jumping off the stat-sheet type of games, but he is still seeing plenty of targets his way.
With Alec Pierce and other receivers on this team not finding their stride as much as this team would have hoped in 2023, seeing Downs as a bright spot was great for this squad. At just 22 years old, he still has plenty of room left to grow, but his speed is great and his route running continues to improve. Once Richardson comes back, that is when this duo is going to begin to build a reputation as one of the better duos in the NFL, and that should excite Colts fans a ton.